The most important battles in the last round of the AFCON qualifiers

7 September 2023

The most important battles in the last round of the AFCON qualifiers

It’s the last round of the AFCON 2023 Qualifiers and nine spots are still unconfirmed. Here’s a look at who needs what to book a place in Ivory Coast next year.

In Group C, it’s undecided and incredibly tight – Namibia, Cameroon and Burundi all have a shot at advancing to the tournament. Cameroon and Burundi will play each other in the last game. They are both a point behind Namibia, who have completed all their games and are awaiting their fate.

In terms of the game taking place, the winner will advance and the loser won’t. If it’s a 0-0 or 1-1 draw, Cameroon will edge out Burundi based on a better head-to-head record. If it’s a draw that involves more goals, then Namibia could end up dropping out of the qualification spots.

There’s also a live three-way battle going on in Group E between Ghana, Angola and the Central African Republic. Ghana host the Central African Republic, knowing that a draw or better will see them go through. Angola will host an already-eliminated Madagascar, knowing a win will guarantee them a spot in the tournament.

Group F has Tanzania and Uganda fighting it out for one place in Ivory Coast next year but they will not face each other on the last match-day. Tanzania will face an already-qualified Algeria away from home, with a draw being enough to guarantee qualification for the Taifa Stars. Uganda travel to Niger in need of a win to keep their hopes alive.

There’s one spot still up for grabs in Group G, and Gambia will face Congo for the right to take it. A draw will be enough for the hosts, Gambia. Congo won’t be able to qualify with anything less than a win.

It’s an extraordinary state of affairs in Group I where all four teams are still in with a chance. Top-of-the-table DR Congo (who need a draw to secure a spot) will host bottom-placed Sudan (who need a win to have any hope). Mauritania also play Gabon with the winner of that game going through.

There is one final unconfirmed spot that will go to a team in Group L with Mozambique and Benin battling it out for that spot. Mozambique have a two-point advantage over their opponents going into their clash in Maputo.

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